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There never seems to be a great time to clean the barbecue grill. Right after you cook, it's too hot. By the time it cools down you're too tired. Keeping your grill clean doesn't have to be a burden.
First of all, always spray your grill with a non-stick spray before you heat it up. This will help keep clean up to a minimum. Even when you spray diligently every time you grill, you'll still have some clean up to do.
For everyday clean ups, try using a quality wire barbecue grill brush with a long handle. Scrape the hot grill before you cook and again after cooking. The long handle will keep you from getting burned from the heat.
Some people like to use a grill stone. Bought wherever barbecue supplies are sold, these are basically large pumice stones. When rubbed against the grill, they remove the surface grime, but won't get to the sides like the grill brush will.
Another method is to completely cover your barbecue with tin foil, then light it up and let it run for 30 minutes. When you remove the foil, you'll find that everything has burned off.
You can place some grills in a self-cleaning oven, but only after checking with the manufacturer. Different grills are made out of different materials.
A word to the wise: Some grates are made of porcelain. You should never use an abrasive material (like the grill stone) with porcelain or place these grills in a self-cleaning oven.